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Growing pigs developed different types of diabetes induced by streptozotocin depending on their transcription factor 7-like 2 gene polymorphisms


The different polymorphisms of the transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene promote variances in diabetes susceptibility in humans. We investigated whether these genotypes also promote differences in diabetic susceptibility in commercial pigs. Growing pigs (Landrace, both sex, 50–60 kg) with the C/C (n=4) and T/T (n=5) TCF7L2 genotypes were identified and intravenously injected with streptozotocin (STZ, 40 mg/kg) twice in weekly intervals, then a high-energy diet was offered. Oral glucose tolerance tests, blood analyses and the homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index calculations were performed. The animals were sacrificed at the end of 12 weeks of treatment to reveal the pancreas histomorphometry. The results showed that all of the treated pigs grew normally despite exhibiting hyperglycemia at two weeks after the induction. The glycemic level of the fasting or postprandial pigs gradually returned to normal. The fasting insulin concentration was significantly decreased for the T/T carriers but not for the C/C carriers, and the resulting HOMA-IR index was significantly increased for the C/C genotype, indicating that the models of insulin dependence and resistance were respectively developed by T/T and C/C carriers. The histopathological results illustrated a significant reduction in the pancreas mass and insulin active sites, which suggested increased damage. The results obtained here could not be compared with previous studies because the TCF7L2 background has not been reported. Growing pigs may be an excellent model for diabetic in children if the animals are genetically pre-selected.


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Correspondence to Tien-Shuh Yang.

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Tu, C., Hsu, C., Lee, M. et al. Growing pigs developed different types of diabetes induced by streptozotocin depending on their transcription factor 7-like 2 gene polymorphisms. Lab Anim Res 34, 185–194 (2018).

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  • Diabetes mellitus
  • growing pigs
  • streptozotocin
  • high-energy diet
  • transcription factor 7-like 2 genotype